Monday, December 7, 2009

favorite christmas movies of all time

One of my favorite things about Christmas time are the movies. There are so many great ones, and unfortunately you only get to watch them one time a year without getting depressed... So, in the spirit of Christmas, I'd like to share my favorite Christmas movies of all time.

1. Home Alone

2. Elf

3. The Santa Clause

4. The Grinch

5. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

6. The Muppet Christmas Carol

7. Jingle All the Way

What are yours?

Friday, December 4, 2009

unconditional love for sinners

One of my best friends is a self-proclaimed non-believer. She doesn't know if she buys into the whole idea of Heaven and Hell, and she can't come to grips with the fact that faith, not works, establishes a relationship with God. She believes there is a Creator, but she struggles with the concept of eternal life and justification. How is it fair that "good" people would ever have to endure Hell? We've talked for hours and hours about all of these things, but in the end she just isn't sure if she can ever "believe" that.

We've remained best friends despite our differences, and I've told her multiple times that I will love her and do my best not to judge her whether she ever becomes a Christian or not. That is true, but then yesterday this thought ran through my mind: "Nate, you're being so patient and gentle with her, you're doing your best to explain Scripture to her, you're remaining her friend even though she disagrees with you... It's about time she became a Christian! You've done everything right, and God needs to reward you for your faithfulness to this girl."

After having that thought, I became extremely convicted. Was I only being her friend and loving her because I thought it was the best strategy for her to become a Christian? Was my love based on an expectation that because of my hard work she would naturally accept Christ?

Jesus loved sinners expecting nothing in return. God remains faithful to us even after we turn the bride of Christ into a whore. Who are we to base our love for nonbelievers on the condition that they become Christians as a result of our love? We should love sinners because Jesus loved us... not as a strategy for them all to become Christians.

As you attempt to love people, remember that the reason you love them is because of your uncontainable gratefulness for what Jesus did for humanity on the cross; not because you think it's the best strategy for evangelism.

I'm going to love this girl whether she ever believes in Jesus or not, because Jesus is never going to stop loving her... in fact, He is jealous for her love!